How to Manage Remote Teams with Project Management Apps: A Step-by-Step Guide for Social Media Marketers
By this point in our digitally connected workforce, there are three things social media managers should know:
Remote work is tough, both for team members and team leaders.
Communication is key, but time zones and technical issues can complicate collaboration and thwart timely conversation.
And finally, getting everyone on the same page and working consistently only gets more complicated as you grow.
Using tools to foster collaboration and teamwork is essential these days. Email alone just doesn’t cut it, especially when there are tons of amazing project management apps on the market designed specifically for the needs and struggles of remote workers.
But for social media managers, that’s just the problem: there are tons of apps available, and they all work a little differently.
Regardless of the app you choose, use our six-step guide to successfully integrate your app and manage your team like a boss:
#1 – Give Your Team a Heads Up
Before you bring a new app into the equation, it can prove helpful to give your team a head’s up that you’re looking into a better solution.
For starters, they might have plenty of recommendations for you to explore, and you might be able to save yourself some time and effort. Some teams will rejoice that a newer, improved solution is just on the horizon. Others might not be so willing to embrace the change because it means something new to learn and get used to. Regardless, it’s important you also explain why you’re bringing in a new project management app and how it will benefit everyone involved.
And most importantly, it’s a courtesy they’ll appreciate rather than being roped into learning a new platform on a moment’s notice.
#2 – Test, Test, Test!
There are seemingly as many project management apps out there as there are teams that use them. You don’t have time to spend researching and testing each one to find the best, but you should narrow your options and do a few trial runs before you implement it to your team.
In essence, you want to know how the app is going to work for your team in real time. Find the flaws, see how it improves communication and collaboration, and make a data-driven decision on whether you’ve picked the right one.
#3 – Hold a Mandatory Training Session
Got your app? Good – now it’s time to train your people on how to use it.
True, you could simply tell them to install the app, log in, and get to work, but doing so might mean your team needs more time to warm up to the app, which also delays any ROI the app is supposed to give you.
Instead, it’s wise to hold a mandatory training session that takes your team through the app’s features and how you expect it to be used. Show them where to find client information, how to log their activity, how they can collaborate with others on the team, schedule social media posts, view and edit the editorial calendar, and everything else the app is supposed to do.
Most tech-savvy people should be able to pick up whatever app you choose, but it’s best not to leave it to chance. Show them how you want them to use it and give them a chance to answer questions so they can ramp up faster and let the app start working for you sooner.
#4 – Create General Guidelines
Along with a formal training session, it’s also a good idea to create some general guidelines outlining any policies or procedures for the app.
Just as you may have certain rules surrounding other technology in your company, the app itself should be no exception. If users have questions about a certain process or rule, they can refer back to the guidelines you created.
These guidelines may include some of the following:
- Password sharing and user privileges
- How to correctly log data within the app
- Protecting sensitive client information
- Whether your company is monitoring their app activity
#5 – Ask for Feedback
Naturally, you want your entire team to readily adopt whatever app you’ve chosen to manage team projects, but be prepared for some pushback.
In these cases, it’s important to dig deep into why users may have misgivings about the app:
Does it slow down your process?
Is it incapable of performing the jobs you need it to do?
Is it too difficult to use?
Is it buggy?
These are common grievances, and many of them circle back to knowing how to use the app to the point where the tool becomes second nature. Any app will take a while to get used to, so before you click Delete, make sure you research their feedback and see how you can resolve any issues.
In addition, you should also seek out any positive feedback from your users. Find out what they like about the app, how it helps them work better, and any other important details. This can go a long way in knowing you’ve chosen the right app and it’s making a real difference in how your team works.
#6 – Monitor Every Step of the Process
Finally, it’s not enough to gain positive and negative feedback from your users. Data speaks louder than words, so you should find ways to measure the impact of the app on daily tasks to see if your investment is paying off.
You’ve spent too much time sourcing, testing, and implementing a project management app for it to fall flat of your expectations. The last thing you want to do is bog down every user’s process to the point you become more inefficient than you were pre-app.
Set your benchmarks, determine your metrics, and watch your team do social media better than any other team – hopefully.
Which Social Media Project Management App Will You Choose?
If you’re looking for a new project management app for your social media department, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Make your short list, take them for a test drive, train your team, and watch the results. When you find the right app, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it.
Author: Benjamin Shepardson is a contributing writer for tlnt.com and the founder of NoStop Writing Service. With an extensive career in digital marketing and web development, Ben’s knowledge of the industry has enabled small businesses to scale and grow through well-crafted content and strategy.